I came across an article about window treatments in the San Diego Union Tribune. A couple wrote in to the newspaper asking for advice from the decorator columnist about their lack of window treatments and privacy. They wanted to enjoy a light open airy feeling in their home, but still needed privacy. They felt stuck and weren’t sure how to achieve that look and feel, with two opposing needs. Here’s the question…
Q: My husband and I are considering a house to buy, in a great location we want, but it seems very open to the street. From the inside, I love the windows and all the light, except there is no privacy — anybody going by can see right in, especially the kitchen! The biggest adjustment would be my husband and I love to cook together and sometimes we get “playful” and I’d hate to live with all the curtains closed. What could we do with the windows instead? Please help, we want this house, but I love our moments together and I don’t want to lose that.
And below is the answer the (not too informed) decorator columnist gave –
For you and your relationship, a private feeling should be a priority. Window treatments such as wood blinds that adjust to control light and privacy during both daytime and at night. Sheers work great during the day but not at night. There also might be some answers with landscaping. Is there space for some strategically placed evergreen trees, shrubs or fencing? You don’t need to build a fortress of a wall, just well-considered screens that balance privacy and openness.
As a window treatment expert here in Laguna Beach, CA I work with clients to help them maximize their gorgeous views, while still maintaining light and privacy options. There are many ways to maximize your view while keeping that bright, open and airy feeling in a house. Here’s why I disagree with the columnist’s recommendation of a wood blind or sheers for the window treatment.
- Hard to operate – Wood blinds can be very heavy, making them difficult to pull up and down. Eventually your locking mechanism in the header will wear out, much sooner on a larger blind.
- Distortion – If you have a nice view, you certainly don’t want to have to look through a bunch of slats to see it or have anything in the way to distract from it.
- Large stack – When you pull the wood blinds up all the way, there will be a very large stack at the top of your window, taking out a portion of your view.
- No privacy – Sheers do not provide privacy at all, in the evenings.
Now, if you plan to leave the wood blinds down all the time and only tilt open the slats, they can be a great choice. Maybe your window looks out onto the side of your neighbor’s house, or a block wall. If so, a wood blind is an excellent choice there.
The #1 Question to Ask About Window Treatments
When choosing a window treatment for privacy and spaciousness… the most important distinction I ask my clients to consider is this…
- Do you want the window treatment to disappear as much as possible so as not to detract from the view?
- Or do you want the window treatment to be a design element in the room?
The answer to that question makes a very big difference. Oftentimes they want option #1 and all these in one solution –
- The window treatment to disappear as much as possible
- Maximize the view
- Provide complete privacy when needed
When that’s the case, there are a several alternatives other than wood blinds or sheer drapes where my clients get EVERYTHING they want and need in window treatments. Here are a couple –
- Cellular Shade – The great thing about cellular shades is they take up very little stacking space. Being small and light weight means they are easy to move up and down especially on a large window. As a result, they don’t get in the way or distract your eye from the view. Click here to see an example.
- Roller Shade – A simple roller shade also has a very small stacking space at the top of the window. Oftentimes we’ll match the shade to the wall color, so it blends in and doesn’t detract from the view. Click here to see an example.
- Battery Operated – Many window treatments these days are being offered with a battery operated functionality. This is fantastic in that they are now quite affordable and the ease of use makes it so convenient to simply push a button and all the shades come down at once, especially for those “playful” times in the kitchen! Click here to see an example.
If you’d like help deciding on the right window treatment for your home, feel free to get in touch! We’d be happy to help you make the best decision for your home.